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Sochi is a town located on the Black Sea in the Krasnodar Krai region in Southern Russia, not far north from Georgia's territory Abkhazia. It was once a popular summer resort among Russians, and you will still find many sanatoriums in the area.
Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which is a bit weird when you consider that the city has a subtropical climate and the average temperature in February - when the games will be held - is just below 10 °C during the day. It will be a strange sight to see speed skaters relax under a palm tree after their race.
Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which will be held from February 7 to February 23. It will be the first time that the Winter Olympics will be held in Russia. The indoor events will take place in Sochi, on the shores on the Black Sea. The outdoor events will take place about 50 kilometres to the east, in Krasnaya Polyan in the Caucasus mountains.
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The main airport is to the south of Sochi, in Adler: Sochi International Airport (AER). For the Olympics Games it will be expanded, and connections will be built with Sochi, and Krasnaya Polyana. There are connections to many Russian cities, including Moscow, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and even Yakutsk, as well as international connections to Kutaisi, Batumi (both in Georga), Tashkent, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Yerevan, Vienna, Gyumri (Armenia), Cologne/Bonn, Hanover, Munich, Khujand, Dushanbe (both in Tajikistan) and Tbilisi.
|Mountain SKIt Hostel||Achishhovskaya str. 8 Krasnaya Polyana||Hostel||-|
|Mini-hotel Aledo||ul. Bitxa 41/28 A||HOTEL||-|
Russia is a huge country, and excess to the internet varies a lot. The main cities and tourist places have (free) wifi excess at lots of places, like restaurants and cafes (McDonald's is always a safe bet). Internet cafes are present in larger places as well. Rural areas and especially if you venture into remote and/or mountainous areas have little excess at all. Most travellers will find connections though when using their phone or tablet.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The emergency number is 112. The country code for Russia is 7. Russian phone numbers have an area code with three, four or five digits (according to their province), followed by an individual number with, respectively, 7, 6 or 5 digits, always yielding 10 digits in total. The three digit code 800 is used for toll-free calls. Mobile phones always have three-digit "area" codes and seven-digit numbers. Calls within any one area code may omit the area code (except in Moscow). Inter-area code calls within Russia: 8 (wait for tone) full Russian number including area code. The international access code for dialling outwith Russia is the sequence of 8 (wait for secondary tone and then) 10. International calls to Russia, as always, replace the plus sign (+) in the international phone format with the local international access code for the country you're calling from, followed by Russia's country code of 7 followed by the individual Russian phone number including area code.
You will require a SIM-unlocked GSM 900 / 1800 compatible international cell phone when buying a Russian SIM card. If you do not have your own international cell phone, it's best to buy a cheap cell phone with some value on the card. Foreigners can purchase a local SIM card by showing your passport. BeeLine is considered to be the best in terms of reliability and connections quality. However Megafon's services can be a bit cheaper.
Russian Post is the national postal service of Russia. It's English version is currently under construction, but mainly involves the track&trace system. The domestic post is reasonably reliable, and sending international mail is fairly reliable but slow, taking at least a few weeks to European countries, longer to the USA or Australia for example. The delivery of mail sent from abroad to Russia is highly unreliable, and people or companies tend to use foreign adresses, from where a private carrier sends it to Russia. Alternatives like poste restante are non-existent with Russian Post. Most cities and large towns in Russia have a Central Post Office (Glavpochtamt), which also sells stamps and envelopes, and usually has fax services and Internet availability, though the latter mostly not in smaller places. Also, many hotels have postal services, including mail boxes. Post offices tend to keep long hours, usually from 8:00am or 9:00am until 8:00pm or 9:00pm Monday to Friday, and closing earlier during weekends. The main central post offices in the biggest cities keep even longer hours. For sending parcels, you can also try services by DHL Russia and FedEx Russia. For all mail you can use the regular alphabet, though maybe include the country's name in Cyrillic. For sending post to Russia (or trying to receive it) note that addresses should be in reverse order: Russia, postal code, city, street address, name.
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